The nature of power and influence at the Human Rights Council: a membership network analysis

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Why do States run for membership of the Human Rights Council? All UN Member States are, in principle, able to participate in and contribute to the work of the Council, either as a member or an observer. So why do some States choose to ‘go the extra mile’ and campaign for a seat on the body? The answer is that …

Report on the 73rd session of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

Quick summary The Third Committee of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (GA) was held 2 October 2018 through 20 November 2018, at the UN Secretariat in New York. This Third Committee featured presentations by a number of senior UN officials, including H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights; Mr. Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for human …

Special Rapporteur calls on the UN to recognize the universal right to a healthy environment

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Universal Rights Group NYC

Last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, David R. Boyd, made a historic push at the UN General Assembly for the human right to a healthy environment to be recognised at the global level. During his landmark address at the GA’s Third Committee, Boyd argued, firstly, that official UN recognition of the human right to a healthy environment would bolster and enhance work already underway …

Report on the 39th session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary The 39th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC39 ) was held from Monday 10th September to Friday 28th September 2018. On 10th September, H.E. Ms Michelle Bachelet, presented her first oral update on the global human rights situation as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. A number of dignitaries delivered statements during the session, including inter alia, H.E. Mr. Jorge Arreaza, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the …

It is time for the United Nations to recognise the human right to a healthy environment

by Professor John H. Knox, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Earlier this month, on World Environment Day, the Executive Director of UN Environment, Erik Solheim, and I jointly stated that the historic moment has arrived for the United Nations to recognise the human right to a healthy environment at the global level. The fundamental UN human rights treaties do not include this right because the modern environmental movement began in the late 1960s, …

It’s time we all recognise the human right to a healthy environment

by Geneva Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Note: This article is based on a Joint Statement by UN Environment and the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment ahead of World Environment Day.   Speaking ahead of World Environment Day on 5 June, the head of UN Environment, Mr Erik Solheim, and the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, Mr John Knox, issued a …

Towards a stronger connection between human rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: The role of the Human Rights Council

by Geneva Blog, Blog, By invitation

On 23 March 2018, the Human Rights Council concluded its 37th regular session , during which it addressed a wide range of human rights issues and heard 95 reports of human rights experts addressing 35 thematic and 50 country-specific situations. Among the 42 adopted resolutions , the Council adopted two complementary texts aimed at mainstreaming human rights in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable …

What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2018?

by the URG team Blog, Blog

An independent analysis of the High Level Segment of the Human Rights Council At the opening of the 37th session of the Human Rights Council, nearly one hundred world leaders (e.g. presidents, prime ministers, and  ministers) delivered high level speeches commenting on the state of global human rights in 2018, and presenting their country’s priorities for the year ahead. The Universal …

Statement from URG Chair

by URG Chair and Geneva News, Press, URG News

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and staff of the Universal Rights Group, I would like to express our deep shock and sorrow at the passing of our esteemed founding Board Member, Asma Jahangir. Asma had been a major source of guidance and wisdom in our work over the past five years. She has also, of course, been an …

Ending the stigma and persistence of leprosy requires governments to step up

by Alice Cruz, Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members and Geneva Blog, By invitation

On World Leprosy Day, organizations across the world must come together to raise awareness and work towards the implementation of concrete goals to end discrimination around leprosy. Elton (alias) was born in 1980 in Rio de Janeiro. He was born in a favela, without access to education or to the formal labor market, and he had to depend on manual …